So much about physiological health certainly can extend to sexual health. For instance, consider that research has linked plant-based eating to a lowered risk of heart disease and that heart diseases can lead to erectile dysfunction. With that in mind, foods that lower risk of heart disease are also foods that promote sexual longevity for penis-havers.
And that’s just one example of how food can indirectly support sexual longevity. More generally, maintaining a balanced diet at all life stages “helps our bodies function best,” says holistic nutritionist Margot Tache, adding that sexual longevity “can be achieved if we pay attention to having a balanced lifestyle with nutrient-rich foods, exercise, and stress-reduction.”
“The foods we consume impact hormone levels, stamina, and systems that are directly related to sexual functioning.” —sexologist Shamyra Howard
Shamyra Howard, LCSW, a sexologist with sexual-health company Lovehoney, agrees. “What we eat can affect how enjoyable sex is, she says. “The foods we consume impact hormone levels, stamina, and systems that are directly related to sexual functioning.”
Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, registered dietitian and author of The Better Period Food Solution, adds that “eating foods that make you feel good may ultimately lead to a greater interest in engaging in activities that also make you feel good. That may translate into having more zest for life, which may lead to a prolonged interest in sexual activity.”
But, you may be wondering, which ingredients in particular may support healthy sexual longevity? Read on to learn about nine foods that support support sexual longevity, regardless of where you are at in your life cycle.
9 foods that support sexual longevity
According to Lockwood Beckerman, “figs, particularly dried figs, are a great snack to incorporate into your diet, especially because of their robust antioxidant profile and high polyphenol content. This helps to keep cells fresh and healthy while clearing out harmful free radicals, and making your body feel…spry.” That feeling, in turn, can anecdotally lend itself to an ongoing interest in sex and intimate activity.
Foods high in the amino acid L-arginine can “help with testosterone and blood flow, which can decrease in some people with age,” Tache says. Turkey is one of those foods.
L-arginine, she adds, is “an amino acid that helps make protein. It also relaxes blood vessels, increases blood flow and has been shown to help with erectile dysfunction.”
“As we age, our hormone production decreases—which is why it’s important to eat foods that aid in hormone regulation [for sexual longevity],” says Howard. “The foods that nutritionists report are helpful in hormone regulation include foods that are packed with vitamins E and D.” And avocados fit the bill.
4. Beetroot juice
A 2020 study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition reported that the nitrates from beetroot juice convert to nitric oxide after consumption, and nitric oxide is connected to blood pressure and increased oxygen. Reduced blood pressure connects to reducing risk of heart disease, and increased oxygen is connected to improved sports performance. Both of those benefits support—you guessed it—sexual longevity.
5. Pumpkin seeds
It’s officially fall, but—luckily for us—pumpkin seeds are easy to find year-round. “Pumpkin seeds are also high in L-arginine and zinc,” says Tache.
6. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate can also be great for sexual longevity, says Tache. “It is high in magnesium, helps release endorphins…[and is] believed to contain phenylethylamine, which is associated with elevating your mood to support a healthy sex drive.”
Packed with antioxidants, nitrates, vitamins, and minerals, pomegranates promote sexual longevity. They “improve blood flow and oxygenation to your organs, including your sex organs, so you are left energized and refreshed,” says Lockwood Beckerman.
8. Maca Root
“Onions can also be the secret to a longer and healthier sex life,” says Lockwood Beckerman. “That’s because onions have flavonoids, which help increase circulation and are also packed with anti-inflammatory compounds, which can boost blood flow by taming potential inflammation in the body. The more blood flow, the better our sex organs perform.”
Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cutting-edge wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Sign up for Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.
Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.